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Here are three life-enhancing
experiences for you to digest

My Dad comes home with a bag of books, but it’s not the books he wants me to see, no, it’s the bag.

Look, it’s got a funny quote see? Read it out to me. I blink.

“Every story should have a beginning, a middle and an end.”

(Big pause)
(Kindly) “No….try again.”
(squinting) “Every story should have a beginning, a middle and an end.”
(Bigger Pause)
“No...what’s that word there?”
“…Middle.”
“No. That word.”
“Middle.”
“Are you…? Read it again.”
On an on it went, as I started to shake. I can remember it now, that particular shake of despondency, of just not getting it.
“Fucking….read the word….again.”
“…Middle?”

I should say at this point I couldn’t actually see the words for the tears in my eyes. I knew it was wrong, I just couldn’t see how. I had a odd moment, especially for an eleven year old, of thinking something strange was happening to me, some block surely but by this time my Mum had arrived and was trying to divert the situation, her attention split between the crying child and the possible diabetes low blood sugar of the adult that would make him not himself. I could have run away; but I wanted to know, I needed to know what I was missing, this was important. Finally, the bell clanged and I understood it was motherfucking ‘Muddle’ and I looked up at my father, whose eyes I had avoided for what felt like a torturous, world-ending three days, but was in reality 10-15 minutes, as he congratulated me, smiled and put his arm around me, wiping away my tears.

— Jessica Bailey

Troubadour

When I was a boy and my fist
Would land into my father’s arm,
I’d cry out, and he’d say
Didn’t hurt me none.
He’s been dead six years now,
And my work is still to try
To beat myself up
And make the pain last.

Mark Yakich

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Music credit: Peanut Shells  by Chad Crouch